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Let’s talk about books

It’s time for authors, critics and readers to get together to talk about all things literary.

books Updated: Jan 21, 2010 18:51 IST
IANS
Literature Jaipur International Festival

From two Booker winners and five Pulitzer awardees to some of the best Dalit writers, the fifth DSC Literature Jaipur International Festival that started on Thursday in the Pink City boasts a big line-up of international and Indian names this time.

The Festival, that is on till Monday, intends to acquaint readers with books which were the talking points in 2009-2010 and to “promote indigenous Dalit literature that has remained on the fringe for decades”.

Shine on brilliance
“The focus is on quality international literature and bhasha writing from India,” said William Dalrymple, author and director of the festival.

“The festival has been growing exponentially over the past five years and this year, it has the biggest line-up of both international and Indian writers, with two Booker Prize winners and five Pulitzer prize winners, along with personalities from Indian cinema like Gulzar and Om Puri,” he said.

Writers in attendance
“We want to familiarise the Indian readers — especially the middle class, English-speaking audience — with stars like Wole Soyinka, Henry Louis Gates, Roberto Calasso, Alexander McCall Smith, Steve Coll, Tina Brown, Geoff Dyer, Niall Ferguson, Hanif Kureishi, Stephen Frears, Ali Sethi, Vikram Chandra and talented Indian Dalit writers like Om Prakash Valmiki and V. Sivakami,” said Dalrymple.

Making literature free for all
Explaining the essence of the festival, Dalrymple said, “The idea is to make literature free for all. The motto of the festival is ‘Jaipur meets the literary world and the world meets Jaipur’.”

Held in the idyllic premises of Diggi Palace, the festival is not only about literary sessions, but offers people a chance to interact casually with authors and poets as they lounge over lunch and dinner. Not just from Jaipur, youngsters and enthusiasts from Delhi too flock to the city to meet their favourite authors. Such is the hysteria that most hotels in the city were booked by Sunday afternoon.